Matt’s Smackdown Recap 1/3/14

Tonight, the Shield are put to the test in two different matches to see if they really are as strong as a unit as they would like us to believe.
Tonight, the Shield are put to the test in two different matches. Will we see that they are as strong a unit as they would like us to believe, or will we discover who the “weak link” is? [Photo courtesy of]
WWE: Smackdown
January 3, 2014
Washington, DC
Verizon Center

The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Randy Orton (12/15/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E Langston (11/18/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Cody Rhodes & Goldust (10/14/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)

ICYMI: This past week on Raw, Daniel Bryan has chosen to join the Wyatt Family. WHAT IS HAPPENING?

Your hosts are Michael Cole and JBL.

Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (w/Dean Ambrose) vs. The Usos

Before we start, the boys of the Shield take turns on the mic trying to kill the rumors that they are having troubles sticking together. Ambrose sits down with Cole and JBL on commentary. The Usos control and clean house on the Shield to take us into commercial. When we return, Jey becomes *your* face in peril. Really nothing too different or interesting happening here. Jimmy gets the hot tag and they dump out Reigns and Rollins for STEREO PLANCHAS. Unfortunately, Ambrose doesn’t want to see that happen, and trips up one of the Usos for the DQ. (9:00 shown) Run-of-the-mill stuff. The Shield do a number on the Usos until CM Punk runs down to even the score. Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero appears and makes a six-man tag for the main event. **

Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs. R-Truth (w/Xavier Woods)

Xavier Woods joins us on commentary to explain just exactly who he is and why should we care. Because he’s getting a REAL Ph.D. unlike those fake doctors Jerry Graham and Tom Prichard. I mean, what exactly is required to become a Doctor of Desire in the first place? Apparently, Xavier gets bored with this match and calls out the Funkadactyls to dance the night away. This distracts (and possibly disgusts) Fandango to the point that he receives the Lil Jimmy finish to give R-Truth the win. (3:00) So much for that push. R-Truth > Fandango > Dolph Ziggler? At least there was Summer Rae. ½*

All You Need to Know Recap concerning Daniel Bryan and the Wyatt family from last week on Raw. For more deets, check out Scott’s Raw Recap.

WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

No Bray Wyatt tonight. He’s probably hanging out with the MUCH cooler Daniel Bryan right about now. Tides turn quite a bit to start. Goldust mostly gets his butt handed to him though. Hot tag to Cody, he is all dropkicks. He planchas onto Harper, but then gets tossed into the barricade and the steps. Commercials! When we come back, Cody is still in deep trouble on the wrong side of town. Goldust finally has enough when he’s knocked off the apron by an elbow from Harper. Sitout powerbomb from Harper to Cody, but Goldust makes the save and dumps out Rowan. Harper then sends Goldust to the floor. He turns around into a Booker T rollup, but then catches Cody coming up with a big boot. Cody fights back with the moonsault press on Harper. Rowan tags Harper before Cody can tag Goldust, but then whips him into the ropes that allows a blind tag to Goldust! Cody receives a backdrop by Rowan, but Goldust sneaks in and O’Connor rolls Rowan for the three-count to retain. (10:30 shown) That finish was straight out of the RNR Express/Koloffs cage match at Starrcade 1985. Had to look it up, but I knew it looked familiar. **½

In the back, Big E Langston is talking with Renee Young. He’s pretty pissed about Mark Henry getting beat up on Raw. Curtis Axel comes by to gloat, but he’s even boring at gloating. You better believe these two will have a match tonight!

Nikki Bella vs. Aksana

Where is Brie this week? Probably worried about her fiancée. He’s hanging out with a guy who is not quite ‘Duck Dynasty’, but not quite Max Cady from ‘Cape Fear’ either. Nikki wins with a Torture Rack Drop in about 4:00. ½*

Non-title match: WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston vs. Curtis Axel

Axel proves to be less than a threat to Langston. Big E goes through his series of moves and puts Axel away with the Big Ending in 4:00. ¾*

Time to check with #BadNewsBarrett. He guarantees that no one will stick to their New Year’s resolutions and that next year, everyone will be just as fat, unhealthy, and unproductive as they are now. Happy New Year to you too, Wade.

From the “no longer” Exclusive interview with Paul Heyman, he says that Brock Lesnar is looking to do something rather “old school” this coming week on Raw.

The Usos & CM Punk vs. The Shield

The Usos and Punk handle Ambrose and Rollins pretty well to start. Jey sends out Rollins and wants to hit him with the plancha, but Reigns stands in his way. Back inside, Jimmy gets a tag and he becomes *your* face in peril. The Shield just toil with him for a while. Ambrose fails on a back superplex. In comes Reigns, but all he gets is a corkscrew moonsault. Hot tag to Punk, he lands the running knee on Rollins and heads up for the Macho Elbow. Ambrose distracts while Rollins makes sure the elbow drop doesn’t happen. Rollins hits a flying bodypress into the Anaconda Vice! Ambrose makes the save and gets taken out by Jey. Reigns stops a superkick and nails Jey with the Superman Punch. Tag to Ambrose, he delivers the butterfly superplex to Punk for two. Punk creates an opportunity for Reigns to spear Ambrose to further the “weak link” controversy. Reigns eats a Muay Thai kick and then STEREO SUPERKICKS by the Usos to wipe him out. Goodbye, Rollins. The Usos finally get their STEREO PLANCHAS here tonight. Meanwhile, Punk hits Ambrose with the Go2Sleep for the win. (12:45) This was fine, but much like tonight’s entire episode, nothing out of the ordinary. **½

We close with a Wyatt family propaganda video. Daniel Bryan now has a home…

Final Thoughts: Bah, you can skip it. Nothing really to see here this week. Still three more episodes between now and the Rumble, so hopefully business will pick up in the coming weeks.